Tajikistan is one of the few remaining truly off-the-beaten-track travel experiences left in the world. This corner of Central Asia was wracked by civil war for many years but is now stable and open to tourists.
Travel south and east from the capital of Dushanbe along the M41. In the lush Wakhan Valley Afghanistan is at times only a stone’s throw away across the river. Then it’s up across a 4,655m pass onto the breathtaking Pamir highway. You’ll find ancient otherworldly landscapes, ancient rock drawings and geoglyphs, semi-nomadic herders with their yurts and Soviet-built wild east towns.
The Farsi-speaking Tajiks are curious and welcoming of visitors and I encountered some overwhelming hospitality. Here is a photo essay representing some highlights of landscapes and people:
Natasha von Geldern is the Wandering Kiwi, a travel blogger, writer and editor who is passionate about discovering and covering the world, inspiring online travel lovers everywhere.